Current Institutional Affiliation
Assistant Professor, East Asia International College, Yonsei University

Award Information

Dramatic Restructuring: The Staging of Family Values and National Identity in South Korea

My dissertation explores changing family values in South Korea, using popular television dramas as a tool for discussion and framing device for each chapter. Women in the city of Jeonju were asked open-ended questions about the ways everyday family life and family structure have changed during their lifetimes, with the discussions then turning to how these historical and structural changes have impacted family values. My project builds upon work in Korean Studies, new kinship studies and the anthropology of citizenship, but takes this literature in a new direction by using ethnography to give grounding to media reception on the one hand, and discourse analysis of media to activate a more affectively oriented, interpretive ethnographic practice on the other. The dissertation is structured into six chapters, not including a brief introduction and conclusion. The first four chapters progress more or less chronologically through the life cycle, dealing with women's narratives about the work of starting and maintaining families. The final two chapters deal with regional issues impacting South Korean families and categories of real and ideal in family life on Korean "reality TV."